The spatial characteristics and influencing factors of modal accessibility gaps: A case study for Guangzhou, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bus, mode - car, mode - subway/metro, land use - impacts, land use - planning, land use - urban density


Modal accessibility gap, Travel O-D point Intelligent Query System, Built environment, Spatial regression model, Spatial spillover effects


This paper presents an analysis of the spatial characteristic of the modal accessibility gap (MAG) in Guangzhou based on travel times for public transport and cars to public centers calculated by the Travel O-D point Intelligent Query System (TIQS). Four spatial regression models are used to investigate the effect on the MAG of six factors of the built environment (distance to city public centers, residential density, landuse mix, bus stop density, metro station density and road network density). The results show that travel time for a given origin to destination (OD) trip is likely to be larger by public transport than by car, especially for a trip of longer travel time. The MAG values of all the communities are larger than 0, indicating that when compared with public transport, travelling by car takes less travel time for individuals. Residential density, land-use mix, bus stop density and metro rail station density have significant negative direct impacts and indirect impacts (spatial spillover effects) on MAG, which indicates that appropriate increase in community residential density, providing diversified service facilities within a community, and improving public transport supply are beneficial to promote modal shift. Specifically, the role of metro rail is greater than that of buses. However, the road network density has significant direct positive impacts on MAG, and its spillover effect is also significantly positive, which indicates that building more roads is not an effective way to narrow the accessibility gap between public transport and cars but may facilitate more car travel instead.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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